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Francois Demachy

Perfumer, Parfums Christian Dior

What is your most memorable fragrance experience?

The precision of the memory, and the intensity with which it hit me, when I relived the fragrance of my mother.

What inspires you?

For me, composing a perfume is much easier when I have the image of a woman in my head. For instance, I created Diva for the woman I was in love with at the time. Smell, after all, is a feminine principle. Flowers produce seductive aromas that lure the insects that gather pollen. [I also] visit museums, go to shows and attend the opera where, [I] collect emotions.

Is creating a perfume like creating a work of art?

For me, perfume creation is high-level artisanship [in which] luck, magic and expertise come together in varying proportions.

Is there a particular scent or aroma you dream of capturing in a perfume?

Roses. I would so like to capture the exact scent of roses. Their aromas reveal everything about them…shape, color and character. And just when you think you know everything about them there are always new things to discover. In this profession, the ultimate perfume is ever the next one. And roses are my fantasy perfume, but perhaps I’m better off not attempting to create such a perfume. That way, the desire remains alive.

 From a philosophical point of view, how would you describe yourself…nose, perfumer, composer?  

We perfumers are writer-composers and performers. We converse in a language that many understand, but few can speak. I feel like someone who interprets the moments and events of life… into a musical score of scented notes. [The three words that best describe my personality are] curiosity, doubt and perfectionism.

What is your favorite smell?

Odor di femina, the smell of a woman. If you don’t love women, you can’t create perfumes.